CBS shows coming back

Upfront week continues with announcements of returning and cancelled CBS shows:

Returning

48 Hours: Mystery

60 Minutes

Close To Home

Cold Case

Crimetime Saturday

Criminal Minds

CSI: Crime Scene Investigation

CSI: Miami

CSI: New York

Ghost Whisperer

How I Met Your Mother

King Of Queens (midseason)

NCIS

Numb3rs

Survivor

The Amazing Race

The New Adventures of Old Christine

The Unit

Two and a Half Men

Without A Trace

Cancelled

Courting Alex

Love Monkey

Out Of Practice

Threshold

Yes, Dear

And over on ABC, Commander in Chief has been given the heave-ho at last.

TV reviews

CSI: Miami – Some kind words for a change

I normally mock CSI: Miami and its silliness each week. It’s very easy to do, because it’s just so silly. This week’s episode was no different in that respect. However, I do think a few kind words for it are in order, because it remains one of the most visually impressive shows around. So here’s a little photo gallery of praise. Well done directors and DOPs: it’s nice to see someone on mainstream TV doing something imaginative with their visuals.

CSI Miami looking goodCSI Miami looking visually impressive

CSI MiamiCSI Miami

TV reviews

The US season finales are upon us: Smallville, Supernatural, Prison Break, The West Wing

A good finale to a TV series can keep you watching even the biggest rubbish imaginable. They can be exciting, tense and a whole load of other things.

Stress, of course, is a major health hazard. Therefore, so that UK viewers can brace themselves to an appropriate degree, I’ll be giving near-spoiler free guides to just how tense and exciting each of the major US TV shows’ finales were, starting today. US TV shows don’t end all at once: they’re spread over a period of three weeks or so, so there’ll be another couple of updates to come after this over the next week or so.

Chlark

Smallville

Pretty tense, but not quite as tense as previous seasons’. Some good moments, some irritating moments and one excellent moment. Yes, Chloe and Clark finally get to smooch. Ha, Lana! I’m expecting a typical Smallville memory-wipe next season, though, so the tension will be only temporary at best.

Tension factor: 7/10

Supernatural

Supernatural

The finale was a couple of weeks ago and was actually quite good. Bleak, nasty and with almost no hope for the “sexy supernatural ghosthunters”. Since it’s part of an ongoing plot, I’ve no idea how quickly things will revert to X-Files “monster of the week” or whether there’ll be a format change coming with the move of the show to The CW.

Tension factor: 8/10

They made the break

Prison Break

It’ll be no surprise for anyone to hear that the motley band of inmates manages to escape in the last episode. Or that it all goes a bit pear-shaped. But there are a good collection of other surprises and the ending is actually my one solitary recurring nightmare. Obviously, with them out of prison, there’s going to be a complete change of format in season two, so it’ll be worth tuning in to see what season two will be like “After the Prison Break”.

Tension factor: 9/10

The West Wing's finale

The West Wing

Since the show’s been cancelled, no tension at all here. The finale was written by John Wells, who’s been responsible for most of the worst episodes of the show of late. It had a couple of okay moments and a few resolutions of ongoing plot lines, but not many. A flat ending to a former favourite.

Disappointment factor: 8/10

In the coming guides: CSI, CSI: Miami, CSI: New York, House, Numb3rs, 24, Scrubs, Lost, The Unit (assuming it has a finale soon – they’re showing two episodes every Tuesday now)

Incidentally, in compiling this guide, I watched CSI: New York for the first time in ages because the episode on last week looked like it should have been the finale. But it wasn’t. Anyway, the show’s still dull, it turns out, but I’ll bite the bullet, take one for the team, and watch this week’s episode, too.